Learn about the Advocacy Committee
As you may have heard, the Georgia State Archives is in danger of being closed due to budget issues in Georgia. Currently, the Archives is open only two days per week; however, the new budget will close the building to the public entirely and result in major staff layoffs. The closure is slated to take effect on November 1, 2012. Read the Press Release issued by Georgia Secretary of State Brian P. Kemp for further details.
The ART Board is currently drafting a letter in opposition of the budget cuts to the Georgia State Archives. We are asking you to do the same.
The deadline to submit letters is this Tuesday, September 18. The Coalition to Preserve the Georgia Archives will present copies of these letters to the Georgia Governor at the annual Georgia Archives Month proclamation signing, scheduled for Wednesday, September 19 at 11 am at the Governor’s Office in the Georgia Capitol Building.
For key messages and contact info for the governor, see the “Action Alert.“ Please e-mail a copy of your letters to Coalition to Preserve the Georgia Archives Co-Chair Kaye Minchew: firstname.lastname@example.org. Ask your family, friends, co-workers, affiliated organizations, etc., to also send a letter.
You can also:
· Sign the petition in support of the Georgia Archives
· ‘Like’ the Georgians Against Closing State Archives page on Facebook.
Thank you in advance for your efforts to save the Georgia State Archives,
Rachel Chatalbash, President
Tiffany Colannino, Advocacy Committee Chair
Archivists Round Table of Metropolitan New York, Inc.
New York Archives Week is almost here!
Please visit our Archives Week web page for a complete listing of all ART-coordinated Archives Week events or download our 2012 Archives Week calendar here. We are thrilled to announce that approximately twenty-five Archives Week events will be held in New York City this year. On behalf of all participating institutions, we hope you can attend.
*The Archivists Round Table of Metropolitan New York recognizes the generous sponsorship of Archives Week by MetLife and the Lucius N. Littauer Foundation.
The ART Advocacy Committee encourages all ART members to review the Universal Declaration on Archives and to show their support for the Declaration by signing the Universal Declaration on Archives Register.
More information about the Universal Declaration on Archives is available via the Current Actions section of the Advocacy Committee website.
The Advocacy Committee of the Archivists Round Table of Metropolitan New York, Inc. supports the efforts of the Archivists Without Borders – U.S. Chapter (AwB-US) working group to bring a chapter of the international Archivists Without Borders organization to the United States.
The Advocacy Committee has written a letter of support to AwB-US, offering to act as a local resource and contact point for the New York City archives community.
Full text of the letter is available via the Current Actions section of the Advocacy Committee website.
Scientific (Re)Discoveries: Hidden Collections at the American Museum of Natural History
By Haley Richardson, Archivists Round Table Reporter
Archival materials in the Frank Boas Photo Collection illustrate the stark differences in levels of archival processing found by archivists working on the Hidden Collections project. Photo by Lauren Dzura.
In February 2011, the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) Research Library staff embarked upon two grant-funded projects designed to inventory and assess library and archives collections from the museum's science divisions. As part of these ongoing projects, teams of student interns collect basic information on uncatalogued collections of photos, correspondence, monographs, drawings, slides, and other formats from all departments. At the end of each semester-long cataloging phase, this metadata is transformed into a Machine-Readable Cataloging (MARC) record using MarcEdit, added to the AMNH Research Library OPAC, or transformed in to an EAD-encoded archival finding aid, to be later fleshed out based on newly discovered connections and current research interests. Some of the metadata will also be included in the museum's contributions to the Field Book Registry, which is being developed and hosted by the Smithsonian Institution Archives. In further fulfillment of project goals, a risk assessment phase is planned for inclusion in a larger, museum-wide survey of collections.
As teams of students plow through the collections, they are also creating a magnificent account of their work through the Hidden Collections project blog. The posts, many of which include photos and links to outside sources, read like diary records of archival intrigue. An intern may become fascinated by a photo and compose an entry devoted solely to a long-forgotten photographer or revered subject, or perhaps the puzzle of inventorying mixed-media collections might inspire a post soliciting help from supervisors and other interns. The sense of discovery evident in each entry is enough to make any history or science buff a bit jealous and may infect even the most world-weary archivist with a renewed sense of purpose and excitement. Lovers of data collection and information organization will enjoy reading about the development of workflows for data conversion, especially when they include flowcharts. Squirrel lovers, too, will find something of interest here.
At an Archivists Round Table presentation in June, AMNH Archivist Barbara Mathé, along with Project Archivists Iris Lee and Rebecca Morgan, described the projects, specifically the planned methodology for metadata collection and repurposing, as well as future plans for creating complex authority records to facilitate the use of linked data. The linked data will aid in connecting records within the institution, as well as connecting distributed data sets across the web and far beyond the AMNH's walls.
Although the collected metadata is very basic at this stage, archivists Lee and Morgan have already noted the project's impact on museum staff. Long-term volunteers have gotten involved in the inventorying effort by processing collections, creating finding aids, and beginning the task of defining controlled authorities. Just having the archival materials out of storage seems to be inspiring staff members to research and use the long-forgotten items. “Keeping an open conversation with the reference librarians and other employees in the Library about the work that we are doing has been a useful exercise for discovering related material or simply finding out about resources we did not realize we had,” they said.
One project goal- the repurposing of collected data sets to create linked data within the institution- is certainly on many archivists' minds these days. Lee and Morgan underscore the importance of extensible mark up, saying they are constantly thinking about ways to include linked data in the project metadata and catalog records by utilizing library and archives standards such as EAD and EAC-CPF, controlled vocabularies, and Google Refine technologies. To date, they have successfully repurposed the spreadsheet data collected by interns into a risk assessment database.
Thank you to Barbara Mathé, Iris Lee, Rebecca Morgan, and Laurie Duke for their help with this blog post. The AMNH Research Library also would like to thank the Council on Library and Information Resources and the Institute for Museum and Library Services for their support.
Check out the project blog here: http://images.library.amnh.org/hiddencollections/